OJ as a starter for Wyeast?

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Senior Member
Feb 21, 2009
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I've read that OJ can be used as a yeast starter for dry yeast and I did a quick search (Ha I did use the search button before posting) to see if anyone had used any of the Wyeast brands with a starter or if they just pitched it.

I have also posted this on another forum, but I believe many folks here make beer as well as wine and might be familiar with Wyeast.

Orange juice does work well for making starters, never used it for Wyeast but I highly dought there would be a difference. If using this for beer I wouldnt use too much OJ as it might flavor the wine.
I use Wyeast every now and then. As you may know it comes in two different size smack pack, the Propagator which has around 25 billion cells and the Activator which has around 100 billion cells. If I use the Propagator, which I rarely do, I make a starter. It is almost essential for beer. If I use the Activator I rarely make a starter unless it is a high gravity beer. I have never used their wine yeasts but have often thought about it.

In regards to using orange juice for a starter. Are you talking for wine? If so, try to get 100% pure orange juice not from concentrate and try to get some that has no sulfites or sorbate in them. I saw some at Whole Foods that was just pure orange juice. It would work just fine. The ferw times I made an actual starter for wine I used grape juice. I found some at a health food store that had absolutly no preservatives (so the label said) and it worked fine.
I want to add, if you are wanting to make a starter for beer, get some Light DME (Dried Malt Extract) to use to make a starter.
Don't use the Orenthal brand!!

I just used OJ as a starter for a batch of Grapefruit wine. For one gallon, I think I used a 1/2C. OJ, threw in a little sugar until it looked good (maybe 1-2 TBS) and enough yeast hulls for the entire gallon. I mixed it in a pyrex measuring glass and covered it with saran wrap. Left it overnight and when I got up, it was nice and bubbly. Pitched it into the must.
I always use a starter for all my wines to ensure a strong start to fermentation. But I just use a small amount of must combined with a small amount of warm water to bring the temperature up to the desired range for optimal activation. I don't see why you couldn't use OJ, but why not just use a bit of the must?
Well I started my Wyeast with OJ and a little nutrient (just in case) and it was bubbling just fine. I added it to the must of a braggot and this morning I woke up to the ferocious bubbling of fermentation. I might just go with an activator instead of the propagator, so I don't need a starter I can just pitch it.


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